Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday: April 13, Happy Birthday, and The Day the Waters Were Changed

My birthday today
so happy day
to me
and to you.

and, continuing from the posting of yesterday afternoon:

Why would someone tell us an untruth? Hmm. This is kind of like asking, why do people lie? To make this really useful, I’d ask: why do I lie? Me. Yeah, me.

Moshe said, thinking that doesn’t lead to improvement is worthless. He may have said it’s mental masturbation. If I think about why I lie, I’m much more ready for improvement in the world, than if I think about why others lie.

So, why do I lie? Or like this: why do we lie. Now I don’t feel so lonely.

Which is one reason, I lie: to fit in.

I recall in my training not telling people their touch was not so good. Why didn’t I? Didn’t want to hurt their feelings. Didn’t want them to dislike me. The invisible ethos of Be Nice.

One reason, we lie is that we were raised by folks, who when we were young geniuses figuring out how to roll over and sit up and crawl and walk and talk, were, relatively speaking: morons. They were worried about what the neighbor’s thought, or whether they were getting their fair share of attention, or how they looked in each other’s eyes, or the bosses eyes, or whatever.

We were small and smart and the giants that took care of us were busy feeding us the lies that they had been fed. “You are making me angry.” “You are making me happy.” “If you do this and this my way, I’ll like you more.” “If you do this and this, you’ll ruin my day.” Lesson after lesson in denying responsibility and lying about who was in charge of their feelings.

And then all the upside down, anti-Buddhist lessons, lessons that taught us over and over to feel bad, frightened, worried, a failure when things changed. Someone dies, someone leaves, loses a job. The world is supposed to be always the same, so feel bad.

They taught us this great lie: it is what other people think, want, feel and approve of that matters. Look outside for your reference, for your truth, for your guidance.

They also had this great confusion of which Moshe speaks: they confused speaking with thinking. So, any old words out of their mouths they confused with truth, and so we grew up to think any old set of words was true. This went along with no or little differentiation of opinion and truth, so that we could watch our parents over and over pound away at each other, each positive that their opinion was the truth and the other’s opinion was false.

I could go on, the history of humanity, in a way, but there is a Sufi story which tells it more poignantly: called the Day the Waters Changed. From Idries Shah’s book, Tales of the Dervishes.

One there was a village, and Khidir, messenger of the unseen world came and warned people: on a certain day, the waters will be changed and everyone who doesn’t have a special store of the old water will change and become crazy. Only one man listened and hoarded his water. On the appointed day, sure enough, the waters changed, everyone else drank and began to get crazy. Our friend, sad and a little worried, noticed this, but he has his special water to keep himself sane. Finally though, the loneliness got to him, and he went and drank the new changed, now regular water. He too went insane, forgot his stores and went insane like the rest.

But now he fit in.

This happens to us around what? Two years old? Three?


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